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Old 03-12-2021, 01:45 PM   #41
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I will list what others would call sacrifices.
Small house in an average area
used cars kept forever
used clothes
only bought something if something wore out

To use they were no big deal.
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Old 03-12-2021, 02:04 PM   #42
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Several people mentioned savings and paying yourself first. I worked in a heavily bonus based industry. Bonuses could be 1-2x of our base. But we lived on our base and saved 90+% of any bonuses. I never considered it a sacrifice though. Just seemed like a prudent thing to do. And we were living well.
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Old 03-13-2021, 06:51 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by FANOFJESUS View Post
I will list what others would call sacrifices.
Small house in an average area
used cars kept forever
used clothes
only bought something if something wore out

To use they were no big deal.

That's awesome!

I was at work recently and a buddy asked my opinion about a big ticket purchase he was about to make I said if I can't buy it with cash I don't buy it he said not everyone can pay with cash. I agreed but thought your house is more expensive than mine your cars are more expensive than mine and your life is more expensive than mine.

Sacrifice: (or at least the way I'm using the word): To give up (one thing) for another thing considered to be of greater value or as Dave Ramsey says - “Live like no one else, so that later (and perhaps sooner) you can live like no one else”.
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Old 03-13-2021, 09:15 AM   #44
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I don't believe that we made major sacrifices. I took a reduced salary to return to the Federal government late in my career to grow my pension and have health insurance as a retiree. We financed modest new cars, but kept them 8-10 years, I did most home repairs, and we didn't run credit card balances other than stretching large purchases over 3-4 months.

We didn't recycle dryer sheets, drive cars until they collapsed into rust, or buy stale bread.
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Old 03-13-2021, 09:32 AM   #45
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I haven't chimed in here because I'm not sure this is an actual "sacrifice." I just decided to live with less. Or that since I was already content with less, without swinging for the fences. I saw no reason to impose on myself. I seemed to be where I had always wanted to be and more money or stuff wouldn't add significantly to that and would require more work.
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Old 03-13-2021, 10:32 AM   #46
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Not sure if these even count as sacrifices but there might be a few.

1) Took a job with the Federal government making 1/3 less than my college friends because the job offered a pension and health insurance at a cheap rate for life upon retirement. Felt like a sacrifice at the time but not now.

2) Earned my masters degree (and DH did also) while working full time to better my chances of becoming a manager. It worked!

3) DH sacrificed his health wanting to serve our country in the military and is now a 100% disabled vet. Although he did manage to make it through a 32+ year career he did not get to pursue many professional opportunities due to suffering from poor health related to his service.

Everything else including not having the latest tech and buying used cars and keeping them 15+ years, putting money into our retirement accounts first and living on the rest, etc. I would not consider a sacrifice to us. We wanted to retire as soon as were eligible for full benefits and were happy to make those trade-offs.
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Old 03-13-2021, 12:50 PM   #47
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Not really a sacrifice for me as I never wanted to engage in these cultural norms but I never married and never had kids.
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Old 03-13-2021, 03:09 PM   #48
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Not really a sacrifice for me as I never wanted to engage in these cultural norms but I never married and never had kids.

HA, me nether. I guess I'm culturally abnormal
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Old 03-13-2021, 07:18 PM   #49
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Remember there are literally tens of thousands of folks who were more virtuously frugal than all on this board, who now have nothing to show for it due the circumstances beyond their control. As we pat ourselves on the back, it is also important to remember how fortunate we really are.
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Old 03-13-2021, 10:44 PM   #50
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Remember there are literally tens of thousands of folks who were more virtuously frugal than all on this board, who now have nothing to show for it due the circumstances beyond their control. As we pat ourselves on the back, it is also important to remember how fortunate we really are.
What? I thought we were all special.
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Old 03-14-2021, 05:31 AM   #51
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Remember there are literally tens of thousands of folks who were more virtuously frugal than all on this board, who now have nothing to show for it due the circumstances beyond their control. As we pat ourselves on the back, it is also important to remember how fortunate we really are.
That's a fair comment. A combination of good choices and good fortune has put us in fair circumstance to fund ER in the near term. And though financial success is not the only measure, it's worth noting that there are many who could be in a similar circumstance but have made choices that will preclude this from being the case.
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Old 03-14-2021, 05:53 AM   #52
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"Sacrifice" is in the eye of the beholder. To me, sacrifice means giving up something you want in exchange for something else.

"A people": These folks really want that $50,000 new car (for example) but choose to sacrifice their wants and buy the $10,000 used car because it makes more financial sense to them. The A people would be sacrificing their current wants for a future goal, perhaps financial independence.

"B people": These folks have no desire for that $50,000 new car, and are more than happy buying the $10,000 used car that gets them where they want to go. The B people are just living the life they want and perceive no sacrifice at all because they did not want the $50,000 car.

Some A people would look at B people and perceive that the B people made a sacrifice, even when the B people don't feel like they sacrificed anything at all. These A people are judging the B people on an A-person's value system, rather than the B-person's value system.
I must say this is very perceptive indeed and I agree. This is how I feel about houses...I don't understand the need or desire for some people to have large new homes with bonus rooms and granite countertops and upgraded everything, I am quite happy in a modest and comfortable home that provides all the comforts I need and I don't want the higher costs, maintenance, repairs and taxes associated with that. It's just a different value system and some people don't get it.
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Old 03-14-2021, 07:26 AM   #53
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Well, we're not "early retirees" at 61 and 60, but ended up with more than we will ever need. I was going to give a laundry list of all the things we saw others spend money on that we didn't, but then realized that was the wrong framing.

Financial success is about a reframing your mindset to balance your lifestyle so it is sustainable once you've retired. That means living below your means while working, investing regularly in low cost index funds and having confidence that your approach is right. If you feel you are "sacrificing", you either haven't really achieved the right balance between tastes and means yet or you are letting the spending of others give you a feeling of missing out.

In our early years, DW and I used to argue about money as I am cheap, but DW would spend money like water. She often excitedly told me about all the stuff she didn't buy - apparently only buying half of everything in the store was a great feat of restraint. Given her upbringing of never having much, maybe it was.

She eventually got over most of that and I got better about spending enough to ensure the big things we bought were good quality. Once we achieved that balance and gained confidence that saving and investing was going to work, we never again felt like the things "we didn't buy" meant we were sacrificing.
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Old 03-14-2021, 07:58 AM   #54
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25 years ago, I divorced a gal I was otherwise enamored with because of a continuing pathological lack of financial self control. Does that count ? That is the biggest standout as a financial action/event in my life.Your choice in spouse (or lack of) can really either make or break you.
I divorced a spendthrift husband (there were additional issues but this was a biggie) in 1997. He had very expensive tastes and I'd say the major
sacrifice" I made was not doing any European travel, which I yearned to do (had made a couple of trips before we met) but would have meant cutting back on savings. It wasn't a priority of his but he had other expensive priorities and was a financial train wreck. To him, any available credit was money he could spend.

Seven years after the divorce I married a man who shared my priorities, including travel. Neither of us wanted to buy the most expensive house we could afford, or buy new cars every year or eat in fancy restaurants except on special occasions. Even with travel we were pretty much in agreement on when to go cheap and when to splurge and I was a wizard at getting freebies from the loyalty programs.

We were blessed with a good joint income so I'd say it was less "doing without" and more of setting financial priorities so we could LBYM.

ETA another thought- career/motherhood decisions. I spent the first 8 years of my career studying for actuarial exams in my spare time while working FT. I studied harder than I ever did in college- the pass ratios ran around 40% (with the competition just as smart and driven as I was) and every time I passed one they threw more money at me.

I postponed motherhood till I was finished, so I was 31 and knew I was rolling the dice with fertility but was blessed with DS at age 31. I would have liked a second but it never happened. I'm profoundly grateful for DS. I also went back to work 6 weeks after he was born. TBH, I liked my career and wanted to do that but I know I missed a lot and those were very hectic years.

I know I was fortunate- people who do hard work such as cleaning airport bathrooms and digging ditches work harder that I ever did- but I did make some decisions early in my career that paid off in the long run.
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Old 03-14-2021, 07:59 AM   #55
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Weve bought less toys and a very affordable houses.

Kept the car wife brought into the marriage for twenty years until our fourth child forced us to upgrade to something bigger. Tried selling it for what it was worth, ~$800, no takers. Raised the price to $1,200 after a week and it sold within two weeks without any haggling.
Weve been a one car household for the last 15 years and Ive biked to work, year round on the east coast where winters were milder and commute was shorter. Car pool winter time and bike summers now in MN where the commute is too long and winters too cold.

At about FI now with rental income and want to pad the cushion and exit in 24-25 time frame at about 50. Do enjoy my job, so might work longer if I can go down to 60%.

Dropped down to 80% a year ago with no regrets, so dont know if I can call that a sacrifice.
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Old 03-14-2021, 05:48 PM   #56
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Remember there are literally tens of thousands of folks who were more virtuously frugal than all on this board, who now have nothing to show for it due the circumstances beyond their control. As we pat ourselves on the back, it is also important to remember how fortunate we really are.
It's very clear to me that my life could have turned out badly. Physical or mental health, accidents, job loss, alcohol, or sticking with the difficult social environment I grew up in could all have done it.
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Old 03-14-2021, 06:17 PM   #57
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  • Use mass transit to commute to work and keep the old car running better and longer.
  • Stay in K12 teaching rather than allow myself to be lured back to COBOL programming for the Year 2000 effort. The extra $'s would end up being less valuable than the pension years I would have given up.
  • Buy a smaller house.
  • Refinance smaller house to a 15 year mortgage.
  • Avoid buying a boat, motor home, vacation timeshare, etc.
  • Boxed wine.
  • Avoid eating out to often.
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Old 03-14-2021, 11:54 PM   #58
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Haven't retired yet. The sacrifice I'm making now is using my evenings/weekends to study for another certificate so I can be paid more at my job. It's cutting into time I have with my kids and adding to my stress level. Fortunately it's only for another month. If I pass the test, then it'll be all worth it. If not, I will try again in a few months as I don't give up easily.

As for LBYM, it's no sacrifice for me. I've always managed to save a lot and am happy shopping for used clothes, etc. We still manage to travel quite a bit -- I think we've been to 47 countries by now, hoping to pass 50 countries later this year when COVID restrictions are lifted. Before kids, I was very good at traveling frugally and finding deals. Those long-distance bus trips were actually the best adventures. Now I feel like we're becoming pickier as our kids need a quiet place to nap, etc.. Also I travel for work a lot, and the hotels are usually pretty good, so I'm getting a little spoiled. But I'm trying to not let it spill into personal travels and inflate our lifestyle.

I also try to take as many overseas assignments as possible due to corporate-paid housing and much cheaper childcare than the US. That's not a sacrifice but a happy coincidence.
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Old 03-15-2021, 01:40 AM   #59
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My wife and I drive thirteen, and fifteen year old luxury sedans. But we don't drive right now anyhow, so it's not much of a sacrifice. But not paying $1,000 a month in payments, insurance, and ad valorem sure is nice.
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Old 03-15-2021, 04:58 AM   #60
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Remember there are literally tens of thousands of folks who were more virtuously frugal than all on this board, who now have nothing to show for it due the circumstances beyond their control. As we pat ourselves on the back, it is also important to remember how fortunate we really are.
I've been lurking since my intro thread because I feel I'm too far out of this group's expectations to mesh well, but this thread and this comment in particular is bringing me out of the shadows, at least temporarily.

I'm a "young dreamer", my husband and I both have pretty serious physical and psychological disabilities that interfere with employment, but while we aren't getting handouts for it last year we did receive an inheritance, so we've also had help. Here are some things we've done:

Lived in an RV, cooked all meals from scratch in the RV (!), worked for landlord in exchange for rent discount.

For a torturous time DH and I worked full time opposite shifts - he'd arrive home around 2:30am while I was asleep, I'd wake up around 7am to leave for work, and by the time I arrived home from work he had already left for his shift. We were contributing 50% to retirement accounts through employers and quietly scrambling to pay bills. The fact that I contributed 50% for a year straight and didn't max out the Simple IRA limit indicates how little income we were receiving and how little we were living off of.

Now we are in a paid off house, and the sacrifice is of a different nature than your question--we're sacrificing comforts so that we DON'T have to sacrifice our health and sense of wellbeing, as others in this thread have done so, to w*ork. Currently squeaking by on about $700/month in relaxed online self employment gigs so that we don't have to touch our investments.

- We are living with our thermostat at 60
- We keep our water heater turned down very low, only raising it in advance of a planned shower
- Unplug/turn off electronics when not in use, even the router at night (yes, the hassle of doing this adds up to a measurable difference on our bill!)
- All food cooked from scratch at home
- Barely drive anywhere (our car is 20 years old, was a wedding gift)
- Rarely use toilet paper
- Don't have or use a dryer, let alone dryer sheets (hah)
- Taking a long hiatus from buying things. This is a zillion little sacrifices. I love gardening and animals and I want both. Currently I've started a ton of seeds (obtained free!) in egg cartons and boxes and yogurt cups, and instead of buying seed starter I sterilized a large container of soil in my oven. Our curtains are sheets and other fabric we obtained for free. Our furniture is borrowed or free.

So to sum up, we went through a period of sacrificing our physical and mental health to save up, broke down and realized we'd rather sacrifice on the other end of things at this phase in our lives, to get by with very little so we have plentiful time and a flexibility in life to focus on our health and reconnect with what we want out of life.
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